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  1. Resin Small Arms – MP40, AK47 & M16 (Vietnam era) 1:35 Eduard Brassin Good quality small arms are becoming more commonly included in figure sets, but even then the injection moulding process can't achieve the fidelity of good quality pressure-cast resin such as Eduard are capable of, and their STEEL Photo-Etch (PE) facilities are second to none, so painted rifle slings and etched fittings are easy to include, improving detail yet more beyond that of lowly plastic. Their new(ish) range is widening, and this latest batch fills some gaps that should prove popular. As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. There is likely to be some wafer-thin flash around the details as a function of the moulding process, but clean-up will be short with the help of a sharp blade. MP40 Machine Gun (635008) The dreaded MP40 was an efficient killer used by the Germans in WWII, and much sought after by the Allies as a battlefield pick-up due to its effectiveness and availability of the 9mm ammo as more of Europe was liberated. Incorrectly referred to as a Schmeisser for most of my youth, this came about due to the Schmeisser company being responsible for manufacturing many of the stick magazines, with their name stamped into the metal. The set includes eight weapons, four of which have their distinctive stock folded under the receiver, while the remaining four have separate stocks that are added during construction. Four slings of each in black and red leather are supplied on the PE fret, plus short additional sections to depict the threaded ends and adjustment straps. Colour call-outs are in Gunze codes as usual, and you can paint the Bakelite portions of the grip and lower receiver in either black or a russet red, which was a raw Bakelite with a marbled finish to it. M16 Rifle Vietnam War (635009) Although the M1 Garand lasted through WWII, morphing into the M14 by the addition of a larger magazine and automatic fire capability, the US forces were looking for a brand-new solution, settling on a derivative of the Armalite AR-15, which was itself scaled down from the AR-10. Chambered at 5.56mm it fired supersonic round and had a similar wounding power as the previous .30 rounds. After a mainly political battle with the M14, the new M16 as it became known won out and has been in service with US and other NATO forces ever since in different forms as the lighter M4, although there is a movement back to a larger cartridge for more stopping power. They now use a STANAG mag that ensures better interoperability between all NATO members, allowing rounds to be shared with your allies on the field. The set contains eight of the Vietnam era M16s, which were the A1 variant with smooth forward grips and full stock of the original, with the carry-handle attached to the top of the receiver. The Vietnam era rifle was outfitted with straight 20-round mags with a sloped base, and a simple sling that runs from the front sight block to the rear of the buttstock. An additional four of these mags are included on a separate casting block, and the slings are supplied in tan or khaki PE, with separate black sling-loops to attach to the rifle and accept the sling material just like the real thing. AK47 Assault Rifle (635010) The almost ubiquitous AK47 was developed by the Russians after WWII, and as it was partly based upon the German STG/MP44, there are certain family resemblances. With its robust construction and distinctive curved mags, it went on to become a must-have accessory for every militiaman and insurgent over the years, with a myriad of variants muddying the waters. Again, there are eight full-stock "vanilla" AKs in the box, all magged-up and ready for their two-part slings in either tan or khaki, with an additional four spare mags to add to your diorama or vignette. Review sample courtesy of
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